Should Homeopathic remedies be considered for the treatment of hypertensive crisis?
Hypertension is a common chronic medical condition that according to the 1999-2000 Australian Diabetes, Obesity and lifestyle study, affects around 3.7 million of Australians over the age of 25; approximately, 32% accounts for men and 27% accounts for women1.
The cause of hypertension remains unclear, in around 90% of people who is diagnosed as hypertensive, the origin cannot be found and is referred to as primary or essential hypertension; instead, some risk factors have been attributed as part of the cause to develop hypertension (Table 1).
|Table 1. Risk Factors to Develop Hypertension|
|Factors that cannot be changed||Factors that can be changed|
Family history (hereditary)
Sodium (salt) sensitivity
Birth control pills
Lack of activity
Hypertension can be defined as systolic blood pressure (SBP) greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg; or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) greater than or equal to 90 mm Hg; or receiving medication for blood pressure; the new classification system for hypertension, introduced by the Joint National Committee (JNC-7) has been described in table 22.
|Table 2 The Joint National Committee Classification for Hypertension|
|Prehypertension||SBP 120-139 mm Hg or DBP 80-89 mm Hg.|
|Stage I Hypertension||SBP 140-159 mmHg or DBP 90-99 mm Hg.|
|Stage II Hypertension||SBP >160 mmHg or DBP >100 mm Hg.|
Source: Chobanian, 2003.
Ostchega et al in 2008, estimated that up to 32% of people with hypertension are not receiving treatment; and, of those treated, up to 36% do not have their blood pressure controlled to less than 140/90 mm Hg.
Hypertensive crisis overcome whenever a hypertensive patient remains uncontrolled, and is defined as a SBP > 180mm Hg or a DBP > 120 mm Hg. Hypertensive crisis are further classified as hypertensive urgencies and hypertensive emergencies depending whether there is an end-organ involvement (cardiac, renal and neurologic) or not4.
People with severe high blood pressure usually develop symptoms. These symptoms tend to develop quickly and may include things like:
•Blurry vision or other vision disturbances
•Nausea or appetite changes
The allopathic approach to patients with hypertensive crisis is that of giving medication to control the blood pressure and consist on the administration of different kind of drugs (table 3)5.
|Table 3. Drugs used to control a hypertensive crisis|
Labetalol, an alpha- and beta-blocking agent
Source: Pancioli, 2008.
Hypertensive crisis treated with homeopathic remedies.
The first case is 46 year old man who came to the emergency service suffering from congestive chest pain, he was complaining of having blurry vision, headache, dizziness, nausea and he had vomited at least once in the previous hour; he was known as hypertensive taking captopril to control his hypertension, never failing to comply with his treatment. His blood pressure at the moment of the admission was 180/120, the patient was clearly distressed, feeling that he was going to die soon; he was sweating, pale and very cold. When we asked him about any reason that could be the cause of this anxiety, he said that he saw an accident minutes ago that cause him a lot of impression and fear.
We started this patient on Aconitum napellus7 6c Plus every 5 minutes.
5 minutes after the first dose the patient was starting to feel more relaxed, 1 minute after the second dose the blood pressure was already on 150/100; 5 minutes later the blood pressure was 120/90 and the patient was completely relaxed, no more physical symptoms were present, we stopped the medication then and just kept monitoring his blood pressure for 45 minutes. When he was discharged, his blood pressure was 120/80; before that day, his blood pressure had never been normal even though he was taking captopril to control it.
The second case is a 57 year old woman who came to see me, accompanied with her mother, after having a strong discussion with her husband, to the point of physical aggression. She was totally distressed, crying with a lot of anxiety, very scare and was not able to talk properly.
She was taking propranolol to control her blood pressure, which by the way, was poorly controlled always ranging between 140/100 and 150/110; on this occasion her blood pressure was 210/180; she was very pale, trembling and sweating and she was just mumbling around.
The medication prescribed was Ignatia amara70/6 LM on a single dose and I waited for 5 minutes to see the reaction.
After 5 minutes she was still the same but the blood pressure seemed to start decreasing therefore I kept on eye and did not repeat the dose; 5 minutes later she started been more relaxed and was able to say more coherent things; 5 minutes later she was just crying and she was able to tell me the full version of the story, her blood pressure at this moment was already 180/120. Ten minutes later the blood pressure was on the range of 160/120, she was still a little bit distressed but more relaxed.
The third case is a 46 year old man known as hypertensive, not well controlled, he came to the emergency service with a blood pressure of 210/190, the emergency doctor started him on sodium nitroprusside and 5 minutes later his blood pressure was 220/195, the patient was very stressed and feeling that he was going to die, the emergency doctor gave him another dose of sodium nitroprusside but no positive effect was achieved; when I approached the patient, it was a very similar case than the first one; the patient was scared at home because of a joke of someone stealing his home and he started having a panic attack developing later the hypertensive crisis.
I started this patient on Aconitum napellus7 0/6 Plus, 10 minutes later he was more relaxed but the blood pressure was increasing, therefore I repeated the medication and 5 minutes later I repeated it again, after that the blood pressure decreased to 180/120 and remained stable for the next half an hour time when I gave him the next and last dose of Aconitum napellus, 20 minutes later his blood pressure remained stable and there were no more emotional symptoms present.
In order to succeed while treating a patient developing a hypertensive crisis, you need to follow the classical approach of the homeopathic method, which consists of 8 principles (Table 4). The homeopathic remedy should be chosen according to these 8 principles, in such a way that it fits as much as possible with the entire picture of the patient.
|Table 4. The Homeopathic Principles|
|1. Vital Principle|
2. Natura morborum medicatrix
3. Similia similibum curantur
4. Pure experimentation
5. Individuality of the illness
6. Individuality of the medication
7. Minimum dose
8. principle of the Miasmas
Source: Ortega 1997.
If you base your prescription on these 8 principles and you look for the real cause of the illness (emotional component) and not just get blinded because of the consequences of the illness (physical symptoms and therefore diagnosis of the illness), you will be able to prescribe a homeopathic remedy that will achieve what Dr. Hahnemann though us in the first paragraph of the organon.
Organon § 1.
“The physician’s high and only mission is to restore the sick to health, to cure as it is termed.9”
All of our cases were treated according to the homeopathic method, a real cause which triggered the crisis was found and treated, and therefore the results were favorable. We have never based our treatment just in local symptoms because that is not the full picture.
The allopathic approach to this and many other conditions is always the same, reason why, our third patient instead of recovering was aggravating his condition until a real remedy was prescribed for the real symptoms.
We can conclude that homeopathic remedies are a great tool for the treatment of hypertensive crisis, even better than the allopathic medical approach.
- Australian National Agency for Health and Welfare Statistics and Information (AIHW) http://www.aihw.gov.au/high-blood-pressure/ 2011.
- Chobanian AV, Bakris GL, Black HR, et al. 2003 “Seventh report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. Hypertension” Dec;42(6):1206-52.
- Ostchega Y, Yoon SS, Hughes J, Louis T. 2008 “Hypertension awareness, treatment, and control—continued disparities in adults: United States, 2005-2006” NCHS data brief, January; No. 3.
- Rodriguez MA, Kumar SK, De Caro M, 2010 “Hypertensive crisis” Cardiology (in review) March/April, Vol 18; Issue 2: 102-107.
- Vadera R. 2011 “Does antihypertensive drug therapy decrease morbidity or mortality in patients with a hypertensive emergency?” Ann Emerg Med. Jan; 57(1):64-5.
- Pancioli AM. 2008 “Hypertension management in neurologic emergencies” Ann Emerg Med. Mar; 51(3 Suppl):S24-7.
- Allen TF 1994 “Hand Book of Materia Medica and Homeopathic Therapeutics” B.Jain Publishers (P) LTD.
- Ortega PS. 1997 “Introducción a la medicina homeopática teoría y técnica”. 2nd ed,
- Hahnemann S. 1982 “Organon of Medicine”. 6th ed, Los Angeles: JP Tarcher, Inc.